The Agata Mining Joint Venture of TVI Pacific, Mindoro Resources and TVI’s Philippine affiliate, TVI Resource Development (Phils), (TVIRD) has received the Declaration of Mining Project Feasibility (DMPF) and clearance to develop a port facility for the proposed direct shipping ore (DSO) operation of the high-iron laterite resources at the Agata project, in Agusan del Norte, Mindanao.

Receipt of the DMPF authorizes the JV to proceed to development, including the extraction and sale of iron, nickel and other associated minerals in the contract area. Site development is expected to commence this month and shipping of the high-iron laterite will commence in the third quarter, subject to receipt of remaining port approvals and financing.

The DMPF, granted by the Philippine Mines and Geosciences Bureau of the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources, also confirms that the JV has complied with requirements of approval, which include, among other things:

  • Provision of a Mining Project Feasibility Study Report;
  • Receipt of an Environmental Compliance Certificate;
  • Provision of a three (3) year Development and/or Utilization Program;
  • Provision of an Environmental Protection and Enhancement Program, and Final Mine Rehabilitation and/or Decommissioning Plan; and,
  • Proof of technical competence and financial capability.

Clearance to develop a private non-commercial port facility has also been received from the Philippine Ports Authority. Construction of the facility may commence upon securing the permit to construct, the application for which has commenced and will be followed also by an application for the permit to operate.

On September 10, 2013, TVIRD and Mindoro completed a NI 43-101 compliant feasibility study indicating robust economics for a DSO operation of the high-iron laterite resources at the Agata project. The Feasibility Study concluded:

  • Low initial start-up capital of US$10.1 million, high Internal Rate of Return of 187% and payback within first year of operation;
  • Post-tax Net Present Value (10% discount) of US$37.9 million;
  • DSO product to grade 48% iron and 0.9% nickel - a product in consistent demand;
  • Shipping rates to accelerate to 2.5 million wet metric tonnes (wmt) per annum in 2015.

The NI 43-101-compliant mineral resource estimate for the Agata Nickel Project, released on April 10, 2013, shows the Agata DSO project to have reported proven and probable reserves of 9.70 million wmt.

TVI Pacific chairman, president & CEO Cliff M James says, “We are pleased with this development that will allow TVIRD to move back into production while working in parallel to further realize our proposed nickel processing project for the benefit of our shareholders and the community.  

“We continue to successfully achieve significant milestones that include the results of testing at our pilot plants in both China and the Philippines, and the technical program remains on track to provide metallurgical data required to design the proposed full-scale processing plant and to finalize a bank feasibility study.”

Mindoro CEO Tony Climie says, “This major milestone brings Mindoro to the production stage. Exploration by Mindoro in the Philippines since 1997 has produced the Agata nickel laterite resource, two NI 43-101 compliant gold resources, and multiple promising porphyry copper-gold prospects.” and